As Trump’s Poll Numbers Rise, Media Begin Censoring Press Conferences
Media continue to make their coverage choices based on whether they believe it will harm or help Trump
By Mollie Hemingway
When polls showed that President Donald Trump was receiving unusually high marks for his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, the first stage of grief the media went through was denial:
The political media have been working extremely hard to craft a narrative that the spread of the coronavirus was essentially the fault of the man they had blamed for all other ills in recent years. How could the people not accept that narrative, particularly considering that most everyone in the media was pushing it?
Things got worse when additional polls showed Trump receiving high ratings at the same time that the media received poor ratings. A brand new Gallup study — “Coronavirus Response: Hospitals Rated Best, News Media Worst” — was particularly bad news. When Americans were asked about nine different institutions and political leaders, they gave majority approval to all but the media. President Trump has a 22-point net approval rating while the media’s net approval rating was negative 11 points. The RealClearPolitics approval average for Trump was its highest during his entire presidency.
In response, the media were angry and depressed and began blaming his press conferences. Their theory seemed to be that the more Americans saw Trump, unfiltered, they liked him and the more Americans saw the behavior of the media, they didn’t like it. This flies in the face of what many in the media assumed for years. They pushed for daily White House press conferences so that they could have the opportunity to be on camera and pressure the Trump administration. Now that they had daily press briefings with the president, no less, they weren’t happy. It was a weird response for a group of people whose ostensible job is to simply report the news of the day.
This New York Times reporter began disparaging the public health briefings featuring some of the country’s top medical professionals:
Within a few days the groupthink had firmly spread. Suddenly addressing the American people day after day — the very thing the media had demanded for years — was a dangerous departure from norms:
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